High Alert: Hawaii volcano eruption update LIVE: Kilauea crater EXPANDING - Lava flow continues

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Uploaded On 2018-07-01
High Alert: Hawaii volcano eruption update LIVE: Kilauea crater EXPANDING - Lava flow continues

KILAUEA has entered its eighth week of eruption, with ever flowing lava, earthquakes and widening crater. Here is the latest news and live updates.

Seismic activity at Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island has reached its eighth week and has forever changed the landscape of the island.

Continues lava flows are feeding a channel into the ocean, which has crossed the island destroying structures and homes.

Residents remain displaced from their homes, unsure as to when they will be able return or what they will be returning to.

Air quality on Big Island is closely monitored as sulphur dioxide is pushed into the atmoshpere from the summit and active fissures.

Fissure 8 remains the most active of Kilauea's fissures, spewing lava at increased rates.

With earthquakes continuing to shake Big Island, Hawaii Civil Defense has issued advice for residents.

Ongoing explosive events leave people on the island constantly on edge waiting for the next earthquake.

Kilauea is wracked with earthquakes on a near constant basis as lava drains and the structure of the volcano shifts.

As more lava spews from fissure 8, the earthquakes look set to continue, focused around the summit.

In the past 24 hours, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) have measured 664 earthquakes, the majority of these at Kilauea's summit.

The HVO has declared the volcano to be still very active, with fissures 8 and 18 spewing lava.

The result of recent overflows has meant that residents on the island have been restricted from accessing areas in Kapoho Bay.

Currently, 4.2 percent of the island is covered in flowing lava, with 2,577,920 acres covered in total so far.

As lava flows along the channel and into the ocean, it cools in the water and creates lumps of volcanic rock which form whats known as a lava delta.

This is highly unstable and constantly growing in size as more lava reaches the sea.

The USGS are keeping track of the ever-growing lava mass: "Lava flowing from fissure 8 enters the ocean at Kapoho and has built a lava delta that is now 460 acres in size, an increase of 50 new acres over the last two days."

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have recorded the latest large explosion as occuring on June 28 at 4.49am local time (3.49pm BST) with the equivilent magnitude of 5.3 earthquake.

This happened after 26 hours of continuous elevated siesmic activity.

The HVO said: "A collapse explosion occurred at the summit producing an ash-poor steam plume that rose about 1,000 ft above the ground surface.

"Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema‘uma‘u continues in response to ongoing subsidence at the summit."

A typical number of earthquakes per day at Kilauea's summit were around 10. However, this month has seen a sharp increase, with around 600 earthquakes measured at the summit per day.

The USGS explain why so many earthquakes keep happening: "The rigid rock of the caldera floor is responding to the steady withdrawal of magma from a shallow reservoir beneath the summit.

"As magma drains into the East Rift Zone (traveling about 40 km (26 mi) underground to erupt from fissures in the Leilani Estates subdivision), it slowly pulls away support of the rock above it. Small earthquakes occur as the crater floor sags.

"The collapse/explosion event is triggered when the caldera floor can no longer support its own weight and drops downward. Large collapses can produce an explosion and ash plume that rises above the crater."

The latest explosion, equivalent to a 5.3 magnitude earthquake, shook Kilauea's summit on Sunday at 4.12pm local time (3.12am BST Monday).

The constant barrage of earthquakes at the summit have led to the collapse of the Halema'uma' u crater.

The United States Geological Survey have lost one GPS system in the collapsing crater, although it measured the depth of the delve before it lost contact.

The US agency said: “The GPS instrument, called NPIT, first started moving downward in early May at the onset of subsidence at Kilauea’s summit.

“However on June 8, NPIT’s motion picked up dramatically.

“This was when a portion of the caldera floor north of Halemaumau, where NPIT was located, began to slump into the crater.

“Over the next ten days, NPIT GPS recorded down-dropping of 20-25 feet (6-8 meters) with each summit explosion event, which have been occurring almost every day.”